Monday, June 25, 2012


Funny how when an external source prevents you from doing something it becomes irresistable. Yes, I was the kid who had to stick a pebble up my nose after my mother said never stick a bean up my nose. What would happen? surely the pebble would come right out. Let's pick a bean-sized pebble and see.  Ooops.

My internet is down. I never realized how much I appreciate my excruciatingly slow internet connection until the phone line crashed.  The phone line is still hanging below the electric service wire, it's just dead dead dead. 

Why is it dead? I don't know that yet, I called the phone company over 23 hours ago and they said someone would be here by 6 pm tonight.  I guess they don't make service calls to their own equipment on Sundays.

Oh, I know it is on their end, I have already gone outside and checked the line at the source and a big fat nada.

We did have a big thunderstorm here on Saturday evening, so it is possible the line took a lightning strike. The power never blinked, but I suppose it is possible. My neighbor's line is working fine.

I was having internet withdrawals so I found public wifi and sat in the blazing sun trying to make out the screen on the craptop. I mean laptop.

I realized that I could actually watch some of those videos I had been wanting to check out. The highway traffic sounds competed with the speakers cranked to 100%. I crouched over the front seat with my ear pressed to the keyboard, straining to hear a long anticipated interview. "too many, too many"

I verified that I had indeed been the videographer of a music video recently posted on you tube but wasn't given credit.  I thought about contacting my old friend with a gentle reminder that I had been the camera person, but I had gladly handed over a copy of the vid years ago and the vid was grainy and shaky so perhaps I don't need to remind the world it was of my making...but it did bring back memories of old hopes and dreams.
The Willow is revisiting her love of fishing.  She caught ten fish in ten casts a few nights ago and broke her own record. She caught four fish on the same worm. She hooked all the fish perfectly. She caught several big largemouth bass, some pumpkinseed (or sunfish) a pickerel, and possibly a smallmouth bass.

We went over again last evening, and she didn't catch quite as many as ten, but she caught a few. One bass was so big I couldn't get my hand around it, and ended up cradling the bottom half with my barefeet. She hooked it in the jaw and I had a heck of a time getting the hook out. I finally used my left hand to hold the fish by the lip so I could work the hook with my right hand, and had to apply some force. That fish held still until the hook came out with a "snick" and then the King of the Pond gave a big flip out of my hands and feet and returned to the depths.

Then she had a couple of pumpkinseeds swallow the hook. I am not sure how a bass with a mouth I could fit my hand into would get hooked in the mouth but a small pumpkinseed can swallow the hook so deep I can just make out the little pink beads in the depths and no hope of reaching the hook shank with my needle-nose pliers.

We used to do as directed by the fishing regulations, cut the line close to the mouth and release the fish with the promise the hook will rust and the fish will be fine. Until we found the dying loon. I suspected fishing gear lodged in the gizzard. After all, loons eat fish, and what could be more tempting to a fish-eating bird, then a fish swimming erratically with a hook in it's stomach?
So we didn't fish at all last year.

We started fishing again this year, and early on performed an experiment with the first sunfish that swallowed a hook and verified that the fish weakened and died within a couple days. The protocol for us now is that if a fish swallows a hook, it will be quickly dispatched. The idea is to process them and utilize them for some good rather than poison the loons.

I have two sunfish in my fridge awaiting processing, or my food awaiting the absorption of fishy flavors.

We catch and release the rest, or as the local fisheries expert claims, harass the fish. My compassionate side feels a small twinge of guilt for teasing the hungry fish with a yummy squiggly worm and then yanking them out of their environment.

But them my parental instincts take over when I share my daughter's excitement when the bobber goes under and the line starts scree-scree-screeing, holding my breath while she tries to manoever whatever it is around the overhanging bushes and keep it away from the submerged log.
We get to see what sort of fish is living right across the street from us up close, and learn to treat
them with honor and respect as we handle them carefully and return them to the water.

I think it's our favorite part of Maine summer.

But I would like my internet back for my morning coffee.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I see that it has been quite awhile since I posted. In the meantime, blogger has a new interface, which is taking horrendously long to load at the moment.

I have been busy as a consultant for a friend's business.  That has involved a huge amount of my time and sapped my creativity right out the window.

I am in the process of letting the bird fly on their own, and finally had a breather this week to find "ME" again.

Our early spring drought ended. We have had rain, and rain, and more rain. Last weekend we had a storm that dumped 8 inches in places. This is the first time the sun has shown itself in a week.  My garden paths are  under water. Water is bubbling up in my driveway. The slugs are actually hiding under hay bales to get out of the rain.

The saplings are doing well, school is almost over for the year, and it is looking as though both will finish with high honors. :)

The Firebird is signed up for summer soccer. We have had a running battle over the state of the lawn and my perennial beds from constant soccer. I realized when he did a paper for Honors Reading & Lit on Lionel Messi that I was fighting a losing battle.  Gardening and soccer do not a good match make. Those water logged perennials are no match for a soccer ball.